Maureen Honoré is an internationally recognized beacon of vocal diversity. Born in Detroit,
Michigan to a Creole family from central Louisiana, she grew up with the strong musical impressions of both where she came from, and where she came to be; there were only a handful of albums in the house, including Lena Horne, Ronnie Milsap, Borodin’s “Prince Igor”, and Prince’s “Purple Rain”, a pretty good representation of her influences.
Just in her youth, she was the featured vocalist for local jazz and church choirs, lead soprano for the Twelve Oaks Youth Pops Orchestra, and Grand prize winner in Walt Disney World's All-American Music Festival (a national competition). Not even twenty years old and she was already making a name for herself in the United States. The momentum continued and she later found a home in the world music scene as a lead singer alongside Detroit Music Award-winning and beloved mentor Gail Baker for the World-pop band Zebula Avenue.
“Through our mutual friend Brad Mohr I met the band at one of their shows, and decided in jest to introduce myself as 'the best singer this side of the Mississippi' *cringe*. But they seemed to believe it, since after auditioning they asked me to join the band!”
She performed with Zebula Avenue for the next nine years in the US, and co-wrote its breakthrough studio album Life Will Be Fine. The album went on to win “Best Recording - World/Reggae/Ska” at the Detroit Music Awards, with two songs receiving additional awards from both the Michigan Songwriting Contest, and the nationally competitive Song Of The Year Competition. The train didn’t stop there though! She carried on performing original music during a brief relationship with the rock band “The Infatuations” and was a featured soloist in the venerable Catholic Gospel choir at her beloved Sacred Heart Church before the dramatic twist of falling in love with a Canadian!
She has now spent the last three years four hours north of her hometown building a new name and career for herself in the city of Toronto. She has already found acceptance and admiration for her new roles in the quiet storm group “Comfort Food” as well as her frequent and cherished performances with the jazz ensemble “Organyzed”.
As she continues to add new jewels to the mosaic of her music and cultural identity, she is embracing life as a new Canadian and continues to pursue her art and her profession from her new home in Ontario. She is currently working on the first studio album of her own original music, and now from a new city will find that blend of inspirations from both where she came from, and where she has come to be. There is no better place to express the diversity in her music and her voice, than Toronto, than Canada.
Recorded as part of the album Life Will Be Fine with Zebula Avenue, Maureen wrote this song about the strange relationship between colonizers and the natives they engulf, inspired by Maureen's experience as an American Creole and being a part of the Avogel (Avoyelle) tribe of Central Louisiana.
In 2008, the team for Presidential Candidate Barak Obama was looking for songs for a compilation CD to accompany Obama at the DNC. This song was chosen. The CD never panned out, but it's good to know this song Maureen wrote made the cut!
While she was in Zebula Avenue, everything Maureen wrote was happy -- really, sincerely happy, even this "break-up song", which became the titular song for their award-winning album.
Ah! This next song is still being created - you're listening to a draft demo of it (lucky you!). Basically, it's about Maureen meeting Kevin and falling in love with him and with the city, itself.
Be the first to hear about upcoming gigs and that EP release, slated for late February!